This is Trini Gulab Jamoon. I say “Trini” because I have had gulab jamoon in Indian restaurants in the UK and from friends in Barbados etc where their gulab jamoon was more like our ras goolah. Fried balls served or soaked in a syrup. This is fried balls of rich dough yes, but glazed with sugar, not soaked. Traditionally made in elongated ovoid shapes (see Trini Gourmet’s recipe or this picture from my brother’s wedding boxes, for the more usual shape). However, since I am not good at that shape, I make little balls. Cute and easy to eat.
This is my mother’s recipe as given to us all. Mom makes a really rich soft gulab jamoon that’s nothing like kurma. Which is why I never understood when people would call gulab jamoon the “big kurma”. Kurma is doughy and can be either thin and crispy or big and fluffy. Gulab Jamoon is rich and dense and sweet even without the sugar glaze. But the connection is there certainly, so doh mind me and my pickiness. It is still fried dough with sugar all over it. Of course this isn’t entirely traditional as it uses an icing sugar glaze rather than the regular sugar paag used in most indian sweets. But, trust me, icing sugar glaze dries faster and more evenly. Just a different look.
* 1 tin condensed milk
* 8 ounces margarine (softened)
* 1 1/2 pounds flour – about 3 cups
* 1/2 tsp each ground cinnamon, elaichi (cardamom)
* 1 pinch ground cloves
* oil for frying
* 12 oz icing sugar
* 1/4 cup hot water at a time
1. Mix condensed milk and margarine with spices until mixture is smooth.
2. Add 2 cups of flour and mix well and then add the final cup a little at a time in case all is not needed – it is important to keep the dough soft and not dry and cracking.
Note: flour content depends on humidity etc – I used a little less in Scotland, whereas you usually need the full amount in T&T. Do not add any water and knead well and cover with a damp cloth to keep it from drying out.
4. Make sugar glaze by mixing together half the icing sugar and 1/4 cup water. Add more water and icing sugar as needed. It’s easier to glaze and quicker to dry when the glaze is hot/warm.
5. Dip the gulab jamoon into the glaze and lay out on baking sheets or waxed paper to dry.
Makes around 65.
[October 25 2007 - I have a photo now of thin, or hard kurma, in case anyone is interested (like burekaboy asking here). I will try to get a photo of fat or soft kurma for more reference And I guess at some point maybe a recipe. Especially for Mom's almond kurma - light, fluffy and nutty!]
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